WB reviews new project in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, March 28 /Trend A.Akhundov/

The World Bank (WB) reviews a new project to improve living conditions and incomes of displaced persons in Azerbaijan, the WB representative office in Baku told Trend on Wednesday. The operations within the project were launched in February.

"The mission, headed by project manager Joanna De Berry is in Baku now," the WB office said.

The visit of the mission began on March 26 and will last until April 4.

It is the third project to improve the welfare of internally displaced persons in the country.
The WB allocated its first loan for $10.7 million in 2001 to promote economic development of IDPs. The sum included $10 million of WB loan and $700,000 of the Azerbaijani government, Hasanov added. The loan was spent on financing 199 projects of the IDP communities, and the project benefited 175,000 refugees.

Some $12.6 million was granted on the implementation of second project, 11.5 million of which were allocated through a loan from the WB. However, the funds allocated for the second project was not enough, so there was a need for additional funding. Some $24.19 million allocated on completion of the project, $15 million of which fall on the WB, and $8.69 million on the government.

These funds are allocated to implement 250 projects of displaced communities. About 189 micro-projects financing was completed, 32 projects were under execution, and 53 projects on the appraisal process as of early 2011 within the project. As the results of a survey conducted by the bank in 2010, 87.4 percent of beneficiaries were satisfied with the results of micro-projects.

The third WB project on improving the living conditions and income of IDPs in Azerbaijan approved in 2011 is funded by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD is part of the WB). The share of government involvement in the project is $28.5 million. Thus, the overall funding of the project is $78.5 million. Azerbaijan and the World Bank (WB) signed a credit agreement in Baku on Nov.16, 2011.

Under the project, there will be over 200 micro-projects carried out that will cover 120,000-150,000 people. It will also contribute to improving the living conditions of about 30,000 people. About 1400 young people will be able to get training and grants to start their own business. In addition, about 1,500 micro credits will be given to the displaced to open or expand a business.

In total, about 185,000 IDPs in Azerbaijan will have greater access to infrastructure services, to improve their living conditions and earning potential under the new WB project.

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